Design Decoded

The Dallas County Administration Building, formerly the Texas School Book Depository, as photographed in 2015

The Architectural History of the JFK Assassination Site

How November 22, 1963, changed Dallas' Dealey Plaza forever

Distant view of man standing with Macy’s Day Parade balloons

The Puppeteer Who Brought Balloons to the Thanksgiving Day Parade

A Thursday morning tradition came with strings attached

“How 12 convicts escaped by tunnel from Eastern Penitentiary,” Diagram of the Tunnel published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, April 3, 1945

The Daring Escape From the Eastern State Penitentiary

Archeologists had to look deep into the catacombs of the prison to find the tunnels dug by criminals in 1945

Main waiting room, Pennsylvania Station, New York, NY, circa 1910

How Nostalgia Plays Into Our Love of Buildings Old and New

Never-before-seen photos reveal that Penn Station wasn't as pristine as we remember when it was torn down

Rendering of the scaffolding that will surround the dome during its restoration.

Scaffolding is All Over D.C. Here’s Why the Monuments Still Look Majestic

When the beautiful historic buildings of our nation's capital need repair, architects get creative with the exterior work

Have you carved your pumpkin yet?

The Patents Designed to Make Carving Your Pumpkin a Little Less Messy

A group of innovators set out to simplify how we make classic Jack-o-Lanterns and their ghoulish grins


The Inventive Mind of Walter Hunt, Yankee Mechanical Genius

The compulsively creative Hunt might be the greatest inventor you've never heard of


The Many, Many Designs of the Sewing Machine

Rioting tailors, destitute inventors and the court system all got involved in one of the 19th century's biggest innovations

The telegraph key used to send the famous message “What Hath God Wroght” over the prototype telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington D.C. in 1844

How the Telegraph Went From Semaphore to Communication Game Changer

Samuel Morse was an artist by trade, but to the world he's best known for connecting the dots --and dashes-- that forever changed the way we communicate


Cast Your Vote for the 2013 People’s Design Award

What represents the best in design?

The Pepsi Pavilion at Expo ’70

When PepsiCola Allowed a Team of Artists to Wreak Creative Havoc

In 1970, the soft drink company commissioned artists, musicians, and engineers to design an interactive pavilion that could disappear in a puff of smoke

An aerial view of the PepsiCo World Headquarters in Purchase, NY

The Architectural History of Pepsi-Cola, Part 2: Edward Durell Stone and the Corporate Campus

Employee morale rose but architecture critics were repulsed upon the opening of the company's new campus in Purchase, New York

The Park Avenue facade of the Pepsi-Cola Corporation World Headquarters, designed by SOM

The Architectural History of Pepsi-Cola, Part 1: The ‘Mad Men’ Years

In the 1960s, Pepsi rebranded with a new slogan, a new look, and a cutting edge modernist building

Francois Huber’s movable frame hive

The Secret to the Modern Beehive is a One-Centimeter Air Gap

Beekeeping dates back to ancient Egypt. But in 1851, a Massachusetts minister invented a new hive. His secret? Something called "bee space"

Looking up into a skyscraper for bees, designed by students at the University of Buffalo

Why are Honeybees and Skyscrapers Sweet for Each Other?

It’s not just about the honey. The humble honeybee is starting to play a greater role in the design of urban living

Firefly (Photinus pyralis)

Biomimetic Design Means We’ll All Be Living A Bug’s Life

Researchers and designers looking to nature for inspiration have literally one million reasons to reveal the secrets of insects

Still from an animation illustrating the concept behind BIG’s design for Lego House

BIG Plans for a Lego Museum in Denmark

Some architects played with Legos as a child. And some never stopped playing with them

The seemingly simple coffee cup sleeve represents the genius of design.

How the Coffee Cup Sleeve Was Invented

The cardboard sleeve became the ubiquitous finger-saver for coffee fanatics everywhere

The patent that ignited the dreams of generations of architects

Lego Architecture Studio Brings Modernism to the Play Room

The childhood toy becomes an architect's dream come true

Scuba diving with sharks is an increasingly popular tourist activity in Australia and South Africa.

Chainmail, Metal Spikes and Unbreakable Material: Can We Design a ‘Shark-Proof’ Wetsuit?

For years, inventors have tried to create a wetsuit capable of withstanding a shark's deadly bite

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